K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

Important Announcement about Online Courses and LEARN NC.

Important Message about LEARN NC

LEARN NC is evaluating its role in the current online education environment as it relates directly to the mission of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education (UNC-CH SOE). We plan to look at our ability to facilitate the transmission of the best research coming out of UNC-CH SOE and other campus partners to support classroom teachers across North Carolina. We will begin by evaluating our existing faculty and student involvement with various NC public schools to determine what might be useful to share with you.

Don’t worry! The lesson plans, articles, and textbooks you use and love aren’t going away. They are simply being moved into the new LEARN NC Digital Archive. While we are moving away from a focus on publishing, we know it’s important that educators have access to these kinds of resources. These resources will be preserved on our website for the foreseeable future. That said, we’re directing our resources into our newest efforts, so we won’t be adding to the archive or updating its contents. This means that as the North Carolina Standard Course of Study changes in the future, we won’t be re-aligning resources. Our full-text and tag searches should make it possible for you to find exactly what you need, regardless of standards alignment.

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Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony
First part of a North Carolina history text for secondary students, covering the land, American Indians before contact with Europeans, Spanish exploration, the Roanoke colony, and the Columbian Exchange.
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  • The Columbian Exchange: When Christopher Columbus and his crew arrived in the New World, two biologically distinct worlds were brought into contact. The animal, plant, and bacterial life of these two worlds began to mix in a process called the Columbian Exchange. The results of this exchange recast the biology of both regions and altered the history of the world.
  • Peoples of the Piedmont: In the years between 1000 and 1200 CE, Native life in the north and central Piedmont hadn’t changed much from prior Woodland times. People still lived in small hamlets whose houses strung out along river and stream banks. At times, the hamlets sat empty when people left to hunt and gather wild foods. But times were about to change. Around 900 CE, corn agriculture began. As a result, population began to grow, people began gathering in larger villages, and conflicts erupted.
  • Disease and catastrophe: Of all the kinds of life exchanged when the Old and New Worlds met, lowly germs had the greatest impact. Europeans and later Africans brought smallpox and a host of other diseases with them to America, where those diseases killed as much as 90 percent of the native population of two continents. Europeans came away lucky -- with only a few tropical diseases from Africa and, probably, syphilis from the New World. In America, disease destoyed civilizations.

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Countless animals, plants, and microorganisms crossed the Atlantic Ocean with European explorers and colonists in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. This chart lists some of the organisms that had the greatest impact on human society worldwide.

Old World New World New World Old World
Domestic animals
  • horses
  • cattle
  • pigs
  • sheep
  • goats
  • chickens
  • turkeys
  • llamas
  • alpacas
  • guinea pigs
  • rice
  • wheat
  • barley
  • oats
  • coffee
  • sugar cane
  • citrus fruits
  • bananas
  • melons
  • Kentucky bluegrass
  • maize (corn)
  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • cassava
  • peanuts
  • tobacco
  • squash
  • peppers
  • tomatoes
  • pumpkins
  • cacao (the source of chocolate)
  • sunflowers
  • pineapples
  • avocados
  • vanilla
  • smallpox
  • measles
  • mumps
  • malaria
  • yellow fever
  • influenza
  • whooping cough
  • typhus
  • chicken pox
  • the common cold
  • syphilis (possibly)

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • Grade 8

        • 8.C.1 Understand how different cultures influenced North Carolina and the United States. 8.C.1.1 Explain how exploration and colonization influenced Africa, Europe and the Americas (e.g. Columbian exchange, slavery and the decline of the American Indian populations)....